Embracing Mexico

The acclaimed but underrated photographer Mariana Yampolsky made a career out of obliterating the distinction between high art and low art. She also championed the common people, particularly those who lived in the land she adopted as her artistic backdrop: indigenous rural Mexico. And like many other U.S.

The acclaimed but underrated photographer Mariana Yampolsky made a career out of obliterating the distinction between high art and low art. She also championed the common people, particularly those who lived in the land she adopted as her artistic backdrop: indigenous rural Mexico. And like many other U.S. visual artists who drew inspiration from the Mexican life stream, Yampolsky left a remarkable record of her time south of the border — as evidenced in a new exhibition at the UBS Gallery, 1285 Avenue of the Americas, in Midtown Manhattan.

The show, called Embracing Mexico: Mariana Yampolsky, Life and Art, offers a cross-section of the artist's interests from the 1930s through the '90s: her evocative photographs of rural people that reflect both struggle and dignity (such as "Mujeres Mazuhuas," above); her bold linoleum block prints created for various publications (she was also a book editor and curator), and objects from her extensive Mexican folk-art collection, including charming bric-a-brac (e.g., "Folk art whistle in the form of a duck") and several Mexican masks (one of her specialties was the garb of Mexican pro wrestlers).